Summers of Contentment: Part 4

Dear Readers,

Click this link to read Part 3, before you read Part 4. Summers of Contentment: Part 3.

After a sit-down supper in a family restaurant, we climbed back into the car.

As the sun went down, my dad and mom led us in singing.  And this was the best part of the entire day . . .

. . . We were certainly not the Family Von Trapp — yet we were all good singers, by nature and nurture.

I have written previously about vocal music, “nature and nurture,” in this entry:  A Gift From My Parents.

My father could “write his own ticket” as a tenor in any church choir.  My mother had a fine alto singing voice and lent her talent to both church choir and community chorus.

Within the “bubble of our Buick,” our parents taught us how to follow a tune, sing the melody in unity,  harmonize, sing in “rounds,” or even “weave” counterpoint melodies.

My mother taught us songs that she learned from her childhood:  Every summer, she attended Baptist Church Youth Camp at Quaker Lake, North Carolina.  [The family of Mildred Mackie, my mother’s dear life-long friend, was Baptist.]

This bit of trivia explains why my mother, raised in a Quaker home, taught her children songs which were fervently evangelical:  “I’ve Got the Joy,”  “This Little Light of Mine,” “Into My Heart,” etc.

Quaker Lake, North Carolina

The Blair Family Singers enjoyed a wide repertoire, including nursery songs, lullabies, Sunday School songs, hymns, Campfire Songs, and folk songs.

But my favorites were the plaintive Spirituals, especially those which my heroine,  Marian Anderson, immortalized, when she sang them so beautifully and bravely.

[You can listen to recordings of these songs, performed by Marian Anderson, on Spotify.]

~~~~~~

Were You There?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, oh, oh — sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
 
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, oh, oh — sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
 
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, oh, oh — sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
 
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Oh, oh, oh — sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
 
Deep River

Deep River,
My home is over Jordan.
Deep River, Lord.
I want to cross over into campground.

Deep River,
My home is over Jordan.
Deep River, Lord,
I want to cross over into campground.

Oh, don’t you want to go,
To the Gospel feast;
That Promised Land,
Where all is peace?

Oh, Deep River, Lord,
I want to cross over into campground.

My Lord, What a Morning!

My Lord, what a morning,
My Lord, what a morning,
My Lord, what a morning,
When the stars begin to fall.
 
You’ll hear the trumpet sound,
To wake the nations underground,
Look in my God’s right hand,
When the stars begin to fall,
When the stars begin to fall.
 
My Lord, what a morning,
My Lord, what a morning,
My Lord, what a morning,
When the stars begin to fall.
 
You’ll hear the Christians shout,
To wake the nations underground,
Look in my God’s right hand,
When the stars begin to fall,
When the stars begin to fall.
 
My Lord, what a morning,
My Lord, what a morning,
My Lord, what a morning,
When the stars begin to fall.
 
~~~~~~

My parents were not, by any stretch of the imagination, theologically-oriented nor were they evangelical.

Never, as a family at home, did we read and discuss Scriptures nor did we pray together.

But, thankfully, my parents were part of  “The Greatest Generation” [author: Tom Brokaw] and were deeply committed to the family.

And, thankfully, they took us to Sunday School and to Worship Services, every Sunday morning.

I think to myself now:  My parents would be surprised to know that I learned, through those Spirituals, “The Mystery of Faith:”

“We remember His death,

We proclaim His Resurrection,

We await His Coming in glory.”

~~~~

Within the “bubble” of the Blair Family Buick, we blended our voices and sang those Spirituals, with all of our “heart, soul, mind, and strength.”

Singing connected and strengthened us as a family.

Within our family sphere, we had no idea, at that time, of the future challenges that would threaten our family.

Yet, decade after decade, our family endured.  And those songs fortified and galvanized our family for the endurance against difficulties.

So, I praise God:  For my parents, who bequeathed to us a rich legacy of the Simple Pleasures of Family Togetherness.

And for my siblings, with whom I share these memories.

Fifty years later, I still remember those songs.

As I already told you:   I was lucky.

Coram Deo,

Margot

 
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1 Comment

Filed under Family Togetherness, Simple Pleasures, Summer Vacations

One response to “Summers of Contentment: Part 4

  1. Margie Gibbons

    I awoke from a peaceful sleep and decided to come to Margot’s Corner for a quiet time with GOD. Your writings take me right to HIM and bring me peace, comfort, joy as I sit in the early morning quiet hours and feel blessed as if I am sitting at the feet of CHRIST gazing up into HIS eyes. Your tags and thoroughness in your writing takes us directly to HIM as you led us in experiencing GOD’S presence. I will pray for your classes every Wednesday night- so happy for you to have this opportunity to teach–know you not only put a huge smile on our loving LORD but also on the face of Father Michael Petty!

    smiles, love and hugs,
    Margie Gibbons

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